As tax season winds to a close, there’s a feeling of both general relief and worry about the accuracy of your return and the chance of getting a dread letter from the IRS in response – for both individuals and businesses. If the worst does happen and the IRS contacts you about a problem, you do not have to face the tangled web of tax laws alone. A tax attorney specializes in this field and can often offer you valuable advice on what actions to take. Many tax attorneys can also help you contact and hira CPAs (certified public accountants) to prepare the right documentation. Here are a few examples of how an attorney can help you deal with the IRS.
Explaining Returns: Sometimes the hardest part of dealing with the IRS is understanding exactly what you did wrong and the penalties involved. If you dread contacting the IRS directly (which is often a viable option, especially for individuals), a tax attorney can offer plenty of third-party advice on what your problems mean and what your next steps should be. These kinds of consultations are usually relatively short and will not incur great expense, making them an available option for many people.
Commercial Tax Laws: Tax laws are always shifting, especially for businesses. This is often tricky for small companies that do their taxes in-house, because they may not have enough time or know-how to keep up with tax laws and how alterations affect the business. A worried or detailed-oriented business can benefit from a consultation with a tax lawyer about these very issues. Not only can an attorney help a business avoid mistakes, they can also find ways to help save money and recommend CPAs to audit company books and create better strategies for the future.
Advice on Payment Options: When you incur unexpected penalties, payments, and fees, the IRS usually gives you several payment options – even if you are not aware of all your choices. A tax attorney can give you advice on what payment options are available and which work best in your situation. This can help you create a financial plan that lets you deal with penalties even if you are currently low on cash, with possibilities like installment plans.
Creating Hardship Pleas and Compromises: From Form 911 to Form 656, there are options to request leniency and settlements with the IRS. Form 911 allows you to submit evidence of a hardship that has left you unable to pay your taxes, in which case the IRS will leave you alone for an agreed amount of time. A Form 656 allows you to offer a compromise with the IRS, paying a portion of what you owe in taxes and penalties but not the full amount. A tax attorney can take a look at your individual situation and explain if these options could work for you.
Bankruptcy Advice: If the worst comes, a bankruptcy may be able to help you avoid income taxes that you cannot pay. A tax attorney will be able to examine your case and see if a bankruptcy would make a difference or not. You may also receive help preparing bankruptcy documents and filing them properly, as well as making revenue agencies aware of your filing.
Representation for Serious Charges: If an IRS matter ends up in court for something other than bankruptcy, a tax attorney may also be able to represent you. Serious charges related to tax evasion and similar matters should involve an experienced lawyer who can give you the best advice and prepare your defense in court if necessary.
Brent Palmer is a professional blogger that shares advice for those encountering family law and divorce situations. He writes for Campo Blumenfeld LLP Attorneys At Law, a divorce and family law firm in Milwaukee.